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“But my sister

(substitute any relative here)

designed it!”


Besides the name, probably the single most important outbound marketing tool any business or professional practice can have is that little mark known as a logo.

A logo may or may not be, or may or may not include, the actual name. That single (seemingly insignificant to many) identifying mark or symbol is what consumes the first tick of the first second of the first ten seconds. It’s what makes or breaks a sale, determines receptivity, and sets the stage for the next step of doing business.

Your logo is your spotlight.

It attracts attention, creates interest, and shows the way to the second second of the first ten seconds (and you already know there’s no second first impression!).


What? You want research? Research this: When was the last time you EVER passed-over looking at a business card logo before reading anything else on the card?

What’s the last ad or website you looked at that you just turned your head away from when the logo popped into the corner of your eye? Think about the logos you remember. Odds are they tell a whole story.

“SWOOSH!” I say to you. That’s it. Just “SWOOSH!” And guess what? You can instantly visualize the logo, and the brand name, and can probably offer some experience with the product. How about a “Golden Arch” or a “Red and White Target”?

“But,” you might say, “but I don’t have a spare hundred million bucks to establish my brand and make my logo a household symbol.” So, should we understand that to mean it’s not worth the effort, that hot-shot logos are just for the big boys?

Okay, here we are, right at the very spot where many entrepreneurs drop the ball on the one-yard line.

A great logo identity is worth a great effort!


Notice, I said “great logo identity,” not “great logo design.” Some of the most beautiful logo designs in the world are NO GO LOGO failures because they fail to communicate anything of substance about the business or professional practice they’re created to represent.

If you can even imagine this:

I’ve seen a bloody in-surgery photograph of someone’s stomach serving as a logo for a doctor of gastroenterology that surely made most people throw up (maybe that was the idea. Hmmmm, throw up, stomach doctor. I get it!)

…or how about a high-energy exercise program logo with the drawing of a sleeping baby? (a bit of a stretch there, y’think?)

Patriotism? Sure, an orange line through a gray shadow for a company doing business with the U.S. Military? (Uh, what happened to red, white, and blue?)

Weirdness? Can you figure what a propped-up tree inside of a crescent moon has to do with orthopedic surgeons?


I’m quite certain you can add substantially to this list just by leafing through your local yellow pages or that stack of business cards in your desk drawer. 

The point is that while many business and professional practice owners manage to find a need and fill it, and work their brains off building their businesses, they miss the opportunity to make the most of their own business identities. Many pawn off their logo design work to the nearest (or pushiest) relative with a C+ in commercial art 101.

Others let (choose to have) someone sell them on using a riveting design of something that has nothing to do with the business or the message that needs to be communicated. Don’t let either of these things happen.

It’s your business. It’s your identity. You will have to live with it for a long time. Make it work for you. Take a pass on relatives, well-meaning staff, your local print shop, your high school art teacher-neighbor, and –almost always– your self!

Find someone who specializes in branding. It’s worth the investment to do it right. Then, there’s that apple with the bite out of it . . .


302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US  

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.

 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

2 comments so far

2 Comments to “NO GO LOGO”

  1. Tobias Brayon 02 Dec 2010 at 9:46 pm

    Great article. Find a designer who understands your prospect’s world view. Note: 10% of the designers out there are worried about what other designers will think about their work, not the business’ intent. Your logo does not need to win an industry award, it needs attract the attention of your next customer!

    A good logo is supported by a tag line that should start a conversation that leads to a goal. A good tag line starts to solve a problem for the prospect.

    To put it simply… If I can’t get it in under three seconds, I won’t get it.

  2. Hal Alpiaron 03 Dec 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Thanks Tobias – You are 100% correct in every point you make. I disagree only with the number you quote about the percent of designers who are more concerned about themselves than their clients. My research shows that this number should be 90%, not 10%. I wouldn’t normally mention such a discrepancy, but have here only because it’s such a substantial difference. Other than that, your comments are: 1) Right on the money! 2) VERY much appreciated and 3) Hopefully only the first of many you make on return visits here. Thank you for the insights, and for taking the time and trouble to leave such meaningful thoughts behind. Have a great week ahead! Regards – Hal

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